Exposure for Chinese Lanterns

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by andy_chubb, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. Hi,
    it's halloween in a couple of days and the local park is hosting an event where folks release chinese lanterns into the sky (basically paper balloons 'powered' by a small candle).
    Wonderful sight - saw it last year but wasn't organised with the camera in time....this year however....
    I have been wondering about exposure though as it'll be very dark when thay are released. Thoughts are to spot meter for one a few metres away before they are released and then check exposure early on as they lift into the sky. I'm expecting to use ISO800 and a shallow depth of field with a D700 and 24-70.
    Any thoughts/experiences welcome
  2. Definitely spot meter and manual exposure. Maybe use autobracketing instead of checking your LCD. That way you won't miss any of the action.
  3. might be hard to use manual exposure for moving targets.
    well, maybe i'm just not skilled in that.
    consider the condition of the sky --- cloudy, bright, dark, time of day.
    play with your DOF. nice to isolate and group.
  4. Good luck. Spot meter ahead of time, and then stick with your reading in manual mode. Sure the light will be going down fast. You might concentrate on an image where the face is close to a lantern. Take lots of shots before the lift off, since most likely the exposures will suffer from some "blurred" movement, otherwise. Also, since you are shooting with a D700 I would have thought you could get away with ISO 1600 or ISO 3200! You might also underexpose by one stop to give you an advantage w/ the shutter speed.
    Good luck,
  5. Buy a hand held light meter. And do tests before hand. Lots. Dont forget that light meter! (minolta IVf seems to be the industry standard)
  6. Ray House

    Ray House Ray House

    This was..ISO400, 1/30th @ f5.6 with flash.

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